Today in London, promoter Frank Warren today announced that WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will be the man to take boxing back to the prestigious Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 28th April.
Cleverly will make the 4th defence of his title against Serbia’s Robin Krasniqi and Warren feels that Cleverly’s the perfect man to take boxing back to the historic venue which has been without professional boxing for a decade.
He said, “Nathan’s only one of two British world champions. When you look at what’s been going on in the last few months, he’s certainly one of the fighters us Brits and Welsh can be proud of. He’s absolutely a consummate professional, both in and out of the ring, he’s a credit to the sport.”
“I feel that we get a few problems now and again in boxing but he’s one of the guys that we should be looking for the good in the sport and what boxing can do for the community because this guy’s got it all.”
Krasniqi, a German based Serbian, has a record of 37 wins (13 via knockout) and just 2 defeats – which were at the start of his career. Krasniqi is ranked no.4 by the WBO and he last fought in January, scoring a 12th round stoppage victory over Hakim Zoulikha.
The last world championship to be contested at the Royal Albert Hall was between Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera and Paul Lloyd in 1999. On the under-card that night was a British heavyweight title fight between Julius Francis and Danny Williams and a young Ricky Hatton learning his trade.
“He’s fast becoming one of the most accomplished world champions around. There’s a lot more to come from him. I think we’ve only seen about 80% of what he’s got, there’s much more to come when you think of his age.”
Warren also commented, “We’re at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall and it couldn’t be anyone better than Nathan to open the hall up to boxing.”
“For boxing it’s great. It’s the most prestigious venue, it may not be the biggest venue but without a doubt it’s the most prestigious venue in the country when you think of all the great British champions that have fought there.”
Cleverly is thrilled to add his name to the superb list of boxers to fight at the Royal Albert Hall. The who’s who of British boxing have fought there – including; Lennox Lewis, Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe, Frank Bruno and Ricky Hatton.
Cleverly said, “It’s great to be the first boxer in over 10 years to open up the doors to the famous venue to boxing again.”
“It’s a who’s who of boxing who have fought at the Albert Hall and to add my name alongside greats like Lennox Lewis, Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn and Joe Calzaghe is a real honour and dream,”
Cleverly has a formidable record in London, winning all 5 of his fights in Britain’s capital by knockout, and the 25-year-old can’t wait to return to a ring in London.
He said, “I love boxing in London and I’m over the moon that Frank has put on my world title defence at the iconic landmark and it will be the start of many big shows,”
“It’s a good omen that Joe (Calzaghe) was the last Welshman to box there for a title when he beat Stephen Wilson for the British super-middleweight title in 1995 so I’ll be looking to carry on the Welsh winning run there,”
Bernard Hopkins defends his WBC world light-heavyweight title later that night in a rematch with Chad Dawson which will be broadcasted on BoxNation. Cleverly will have an interest in that fight too, he said, “It’s a great showcase for the light-heavyweight division. If the winners come through in a good fashion it potentially sets up a great fight for later in the year, a good unification fight.”
The undercard includes a British light-middleweight final eliminator between Sam Webb and Matthew Hall and appearances from Billy Joe Saunders, Frank Buglioni, Bradley Skeete and Bradley Saunders. Further details will be announced soon.
Tickets, priced at £40, £50, £75, £150 and £200, are available from Ticketmaster (0844 844 0444) and www.FrankWarren.tv.
For details about the local pick up points and coach services in South Wales, Team Clev fans are advised to get in touch with Carl Jones (07976184158), Lawrence Porch (07768215599). Anyone wishing to purchase using PayPal please contact Lawrence.
It will be broadcasted live and exclusively on BoxNation (Sky ch456, Virgin Media ch546). BoxNation is the first dedicated subscription boxing TV channel in the UK to bring together the biggest names in amateur, domestic and international boxing with an unbeatable schedule of matches from across the globe.
For just £10 per month BoxNation offers unbeatable value for money for all fight fans. To subscribe to BoxNation go to www.boxnation.tv and hit the “Subscribe Now” button and choose your subscription package